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Thread: Was Saturn doomed to fail or could it somehow have sold more than the PS1?

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    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    I'd imagine Sega's are simply rounded. I wouldn't expect them to lie by 30 million games sold and 2 million systems sold on an official financial report.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    I would not be surprised in the least if the Sega numbers were inflated - just a tiny bit. You've got to look good in front of shareholders after all.
    I doubt it... I mean, the shareholders only really care about profits/growth forecast, and it just lowers morale among the employees who know it's not true, so there isn't much point. The company only stands to lose if it comes out they're lying on their annual report.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    VGChartz is simply not reliable for historic data. Where do their numbers come from? They don't cite any sources. They didn't even exist until 2005. Their historic data are just estimates or based on figures that Sega has publicly released. Better to look for authentic sources.
    The only one I have trust in (on VGChartz) is the North American market, because they can get the data from the NPD. Still, even the NPD has to fill in guestimates for stores like Walmart, that didn't disclose sales figures. Europe is a total grab bag for everyone, because of all of the different territories and the lack of hard data.

    Saturn software adoption in North America also gets a bit tricky, because about 500,000 Saturns had 3 free games packed with the console.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    That plan would have worked in an environment like what the VCR had, if there wasn't superior technology just around the corner at a less expensive price. $700 in a world market where everyone was practically giving away the razor to sell the blades wasn't going to work for 3D0.
    The other massive flaw is that they set low royalty fees to attract support from software publishers/developers, not understanding that the royalty fee is just one part of the equation, the other much more important factor is having a big consumer base the software publishers could sell their games to.
    Also the cost and resources needed to convert existing games (let's say from an arcade game) to a console format was higher than what was needed to convert a movie film to VHS so the support could not be taken for granted if publishers didn't see the effort being worth it compared to the available alternatives from established players like Nintendo and Sega.
    3DO business model could not have been successful as it was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    The 8.8 million could not have been true for japan only, last time I checked the serials, I got a way lower number.
    It's a worldwide sales figure though note that by March 1998 5.60M Saturn consoles were shipped in Japan so the far majority of the Saturn worldwide sales.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Folco View Post
    It's a worldwide sales figure though note that by March 1998 5.60M Saturn consoles were shipped in Japan so the far majority of the Saturn worldwide sales.
    This figure is far closer to the one I get from the serials. Even if you add in the estimated PAL and USA sales, you'd get something between 7-8 million. Also note that Saturn production virtually stopped by the end of March 1998, only a short run of units were made after that point, which includes some hst-3220s, the Derby Stallions and a few thousand V-Saturns.
    Last edited by zyrobs; 04-11-2021 at 02:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    This figure is far closer to the one I get from the serials. Even if you add in the estimated PAL and USA sales, you'd get something between 7-8 million. Also note that Saturn production virtually stopped by the end of March 1998, only a short run of units were made after that point, which includes some hst-3220s, the Derby Stallions and a few thousand V-Saturns.
    It's the same figure, he just pointed out what the Japan only number was. It still states 8.8 Million for worldwide by Fiscal Year 1998.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    It's the same figure, he just pointed out what the Japan only number was. It still states 8.8 Million for worldwide by Fiscal Year 1998.
    Sorry, I meant the "5.6 million in japan by 1998 March" figure, not the picture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyrobs View Post
    Sorry, I meant the "5.6 million in japan by 1998 March" figure, not the picture.
    Which is still part of the same 8.8 Million worldwide figure. That would leave about 3.2 Million for the rest of the world which is believable. I really don't get what you're trying to debate here.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Which is still part of the same 8.8 Million worldwide figure. That would leave about 3.2 Million for the rest of the world which is believable. I really don't get what you're trying to debate here.
    I'm saying that I'm doing statistical analysis on the serial numbers and the values don't match up the reported sales.

    However I did my analysis based on the assumption that the same manufacturing runs produced consoles for both regions. If I break up the runs into separate unique runs per type of console, then the numbers look closer to some of the reported values for US sales at least (I did not check the rest yet). This is something that is a bit unclear in how it was handled since some units like Asian and Australian consoles clearly shared manufacturing runs with JP and PAL units. I'll re-check the numbers again with that in mind, once I'll have the time.

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    It could also mean there's gaps or inconsistencies in the serial number data you have. Again I seriously doubt Sega would have lied to that extent on a share holders report.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    It could also mean there's gaps or inconsistencies in the serial number data you have.
    The serials all start from 0 and progress in a linear fashion in all but a handful of odd cases, and there's a formula for computing the most likely total number from those (German tank problem). I have enough samples that an inconsistency in the millions would not be the result of lack of samples, but of wrong interpretations of them. A quick check with an alternative method gave me more accurate results for a smaller subset of data, which backs this up. But I'm just repeating myself now.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Again I seriously doubt Sega would have lied to that extent on a share holders report.
    I already admitted I may have calculated things wrong and got an unnecessarily low number, which would mean the share holder reported number could be indeed correct. And you should never trust share holders reports, every public company has a financial interest in making it look like they are doing better than they actually are.

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    People used serial numbers to estimate that the C64 only sold (some claiming as low as 14) 19 million units, while Tramiel claimed 30 million. I believe that the 19 million number is flat out wrong, because C64 stuff was as available as the 2600 before it, and for much longer. Hell, I have 2 bread box C64s and 2 C64 C computers. They weren't that hard to come by. When I'd lived in Phoenix, I had a dedicated C64 shop just a mile away from mu apartment and C64 games could be bought at places like B. Dalton Bookstore. I just don't trust the counting serial numbers, unless someone has a ledger documenting them.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    People used serial numbers to estimate that the C64 only sold 19 million units, while Tramiel claimed 30 million. I believe that the 19 million number is flat out wrong, because C64 stuff was as available as the 2600 before it, and for much longer. Hell, I have 2 bread box C64s and 2 C64 C computers. They weren't that hard to come by.
    That's precisely what I had in mind when counting the serials. The 19 million came out as 12.5m C64s and 5.7m C128s by the way.

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    Which is way too low. Just my group of friends in High School had about a half dozen C64s between themes . I think that itís a flawed system for estimating units sold.
    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."



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